Five months ago, RoMo Craft Tobac co-owner Skip Martin began teasing a new release on social media that would eventually come to be known as the El Catador De Las Panetelas, or more simply the Panetela Project. As its name would imply (it directly translates into the panetelas sampler), it’s a sampler of the four core RoMa Craft Tobac blends in the same 5 1/2 x 37 panatela size.

El Catador De Las Panetelas Box 1

El Catador De Las Panetelas Box 2

The release is limited to only 225 boxes of eight and retails for $54 per sampler. It was made to commemorate Springfield, Mo.-based Just For Him’s 25th anniversary.

“My partner, Esteban Disla, and I have primarily focused on the core lines for RoMa Craft Tobac,” said Martin. “On the side, however, we have worked to perfect our versions of industry classics.”

“The Panetela Project is our most recent effort, but it will most certainly not be our last, when it comes to demonstrating the ability of Nica Sueño and RoMa Craft Tobac to consistently produce extremely high quality cigars and continuously deliver value innovation in a highly competitive and crowded marketplace.”

El Catador De Las Panetelas

  • Intemperance EC XVIII Humility (5 1/2 x 37) — $6
  • Intemperance BA XXI Vanity (5 1/2 x 37) — $6.50
  • CroMagnon Breuil (5 1/2 x 37) — $7.50
  • Aquitaine Breuil (5 1/2 x 37) — $7
For those concerned that there will only be 450 cigars of each blend released, that’s not the plan. After Just For Him sells out, the store will be given the option to retain any or all of the cigars released in the sampler as limited production store exclusives. If the retailer declines on some or all, it’s expected that another retailer will be offered the cigars.

Intemperance EC XVIII Humility 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Intemperance EC XVIII Humility
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Indonesia
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 37
  • Vitola: Media Corona
  • MSRP: $6 (Samplers of 8, $54)
  • Release Date: August 2014
  • Number of Cigars Released: 225 Samplers of 2 Cigars (450 Total Cigars)*
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
*Each sampler contains two cigars of each of the four blend, all are expected to be made an ongoing limited basis going forward, although the samplers are capped at 225 units.

The Intemperance EC XVIII Humility is wrapped in a light golden brown wrapper that is almost totally devoid of oil, but smooth as silk to the touch. There is an appropriate amount of give when it is squeezed and there are quite a few veins running up and down the length. A tiny amount of the binder and filler are visible at the foot, but so little that you would probably miss it if you were not looking for it. Aroma from the wrapper is strong barnyard, hay, earth and pepper, while the cold draw brings flavors of sweet cream, plums, hay and almonds.

The Intemperance panatela starts off with a dominant creamy hay and white pepper combination, along with flavors of leather, cedar, white chocolate, earth and coffee. There is a very interesting orange peel sweetness on the retrohale, sort of like chewing on an orange rind that still has some juice left on it.  For the first few puffs there is a very noticeable tingly spice on the front of my tongue that dissipates fairly quickly and some white pepper in the nose. Construction-wise, both the burn and draw are wonderful so far, while the smoke production is enormous, white and billowy. The strength hits just short of the medium mark by the end of the first third.

Intemperance EC XVIII Humility 2

A maple note takes over from the orange sweetness of the Intemperance Humility around the halfway point, and while the spice on the palate is long gone by this point, the white pepper on the retrohale actually increases slightly. Other flavors of anise, creamy cedar, leather, coffee, earth and grass flit in and out throughout the second third, and the smoke production remains about the same. The burn is almost razor sharp and the draw remains excellent with just the right amount of resistance. The strength has not increase much, but does manage to reach the medium point by the end of the second third.

Intemperance EC XVIII Humility 3

The final third of the Intemperance EC XVIII Humility introduces a wonderful creamy peanut butter note into the mix, a combination of peanuts, sweet cream and slight saltiness that really sets off the rest of the profile nicely. The other flavors of earth, coffee, cedar, hay and barnyard combine with a sweetness that has morphed again into more of a vanilla note, along with slightly less pepper on the retrohale. The overall strength has not budged a bit since the end of the second third, ending the cigar medium. The construction continues to impress and I am able to easily smoke the nub down to less than an inch before putting it down.

Intemperance EC XVIII Humility 4

Final Notes

  • Somewhere along the way, the spelling of panetela changed. In the U.S. and the U.K., the commonly-accepted spelling today is more often than not panatela. As far as Cuba is concerned, it’s panetela, and then there are some like Davidoff that use panatellas.
  • This is the second release to commemorate Just For Him’s 25th anniversary, the first being the Quesada España JFH 25th.
  • Until last year, all of RoMa Craft’s blends came without bands, but I have to say, I really love the ones they have chosen to use for the Intemperance line: simple, elegant and they match color of the wrapper. There is also some nice shimmery details if you look closely.
  • Having said the above, I was slightly annoyed that the bands overlapped the name on these cigars, due to the small ring gauge.
  • I smoked one of the Intemperance BA XXI Vanity to compare to the Intemperance EC XVIII Humility, and I have to say, while I do enjoy that blend, I like the Humility quite a bit more.
  • It goes without saying that the panatela vitola is not exactly red hot in terms of sales at the moment.
  • This is a very delicate blend, you have to baby it and not smoke too fast or it will punish you with bitterness immediately.
  • All of the cigars in the Intemperance line have always featured a shaggy foot — i.e. where the wrapper is left off a portion of the foot leaving the binder and filler exposed — but there is so little of the wrapper cut off on these releases that I doubt most people would even see it if they are not looking for it.
  • The samples smoked for this review were given to halfwheel by RoMa Craft Tobac at the 2014 IPCPR show in Las Vegas.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples I smoked averaged one hour and 15 minutes, and I was taking my time.
  • The only place you will be able to get any of the Panetela Project samplers at first will be when they are released at Just For Him this month.
91 Overall Score

There seem to be quite a few Ecuadorian Connecticut-wrapped blends on the market these days, and of those, quite a few are very good blends. The Intemperance EC line has always been a favorite of mine for its combination of complex flavors, price and construction, but the Intemperance EC XVIII Humility kicks the blend's profile up a notch, featuring an ever evolving sweetness and excellent construction throughout every sample I smoked. An already wonderful blend is made even better by the panatela vitola, and would make  an excellent choice to smoke first thing in the morning with coffee, or as a change of pace between stronger cigars.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.